New East Digital Archive

Kazakh photographer wins Paris photo prize with her visions of Soviet sainthood

19 June 2018

Almaty-based photographer Svetlana Melik-Nubarova has scooped two prizes at this year’s Px3 Prix de la Photographie Paris.

Her project, From Our Past, took first place in a special category for proposed photobooks and second place in the fine arts category.

Each image portrays idealised Soviet heros styled as modern Orthodox saints: the diligent student, the worker, the war hero and the shopkeeper, clasping a much sought-after pineapple.

“The history of the Soviet Union is a clear example of how propaganda shapes a person’s worldview, values and way of life,” said Melik-Nubarova. “We, who were born in the Soviet Union, sincerely believed in the values that were instilled in us during our early childhood. [It was] only during Perestroika that we discovered another world.”

To see more of Melik-Nubarova’s work, visit her portfolio here.